Saturday, January 07, 2006

In Passing...Frankenstein to the Last Man

Kind of a slow week for comics this time around. I picked up a couple of first issues, which I'll review later (Sable & Fortune and The Exterminators), but right now, I'll do a couple mini-reviews of new comics, as well a comic that I tracked down while in Minneapolis.

Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #2 (of 4) - One thing you have to say about this mini-series is that the perfect artist was assigned to the job. I couldn't imagie anyone doing this dark, moody title better than Doug Mahnke, from the first page of Frankenstein atop a buggish horse to the bloody conclusion. Once again citing ties to other Seven Soldiers books, this one almost feels like an echo of what's happened before in Klarion the Witch Boy (which is even noted in the comic itself). But we should be used to patterns emerging between these titles by now, shouldn't we? 7.8/10

Y - the Last Man #41 - Another issue dedicated to one of the secondary characters of the series, this Y - the Last Man delves into Agent 355's past, including her childhood, recruitment into secret services and several shocking moments to her character. But for such a mysterious character as 355, the payoff could have been a lot better. There's nothing too fascinating in 355's past to warrant her as the bad-ass of Yorick's little entourage. Vaughan delivers yet another so-so issue of this overpraised series. 5/10

Sword of Dracula #1 (volume 2) - The Image Comics black-and-white mini-series made a jump to color a few months ago as the series moved to Digital Webbing. Jason Henderson's Sword of Dracula got quite a bit of attention when it first launched over a year ago, due to deals with video games and the like, but with its second incarnation, it seems to have been quite overlooked. The series is kind of like Dracula vs. the military headed by a Van Helsing. A bit cliche, but Henderson adds onto the Dracula myth enough to overlook the presence of yet another hot young Van Helsing heir in skin-tight leather. This time around, Ronnie Van Helsing's militia group, Polidorium, is competing with another undead-hunting group while Dracula seizes a political opportunity to become president of a small country. This series seems to be more bent on examining the main character, including her battle with an eating disorder which was unveiled in the first mini-series, and also glimpsing into Ronnie's past which is actually being revealed slowly and quite chillingly. The pace of this comic is really effective, my only complaint being a messy opening scene where the action was a little hard to make out. 8/10

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